Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ben Franklin Quote S/R

Sejal Porter
2/4/2016
Smith E9H
Summary Response
Freedom or Safety




In 1759, Ben Franklin stated that liberties are of the utmost importance and one who sacrifices their liberties, even for their own safety, is undeserving of both the freedom and the safety that follows. He believed that protecting liberties over and above other concerns is vital to preserving the founding values of The United States.
Ben Franklin accurately portrayed that liberties should be preserved over all else because if they are altered it will lead to a slippery slope resulting in an abuse of power. In 1787 the Constitution of the United States of America was written with two sole purposes. One, to establish a federal government for the United States and, two, to protect the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the United States of America. Under this Constitution, an amendment was made stating that any citizen has the right to carry a firearm for self protection. Due to the recent increase in gun violence, the government has been fighting to put controls on how guns can be bought and sold. A big advocate for gun control is The President, Barack Obama. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, said regarding Obama "From day one, the President has never respected the right to safe and legal gun ownership that our nation has valued since its founding." (Bradner) The President has shown that he values safety more than the rights clearly given to the people. Once the government starts compromising the rights on which the United States was founded, it may never end. After one basic right is denied, there is nothing stopping someone from permanently altering the way the country runs in the name of safety. Although gun control clearly violates the second amendment, it could save lives, justifying the infringement on our rights. As a result of an increase in mass shootings all over the United States, much of the country has turned to mental illness as the driving factor behind the killings. Evidence has shown that many mass shooters have acute mental health issues. John Russell Houser, despite obvious mental health issues, was able to obtain a gun, which he used to wound nine people and kill two in a movie theatre shooting in Louisiana. NBC reports, “Despite obvious and public signs of mental illness — most important, a Georgia judge's order committing him to mental health treatment against his will as a danger to himself and others in 2008 — Houser was able to walk into an Alabama pawn shop six years later and buy a .40-caliber handgun.” (The Associated Press) Houser was diagnosed bipolar disorder and has been involuntarily committed to a mental institute, but he was still able to procure a gun. While mental health may be the driving factor, he should not have been able to purchase a gun. Stricter gun control, while intruding on basic liberties, could have prevented this man from buying a gun, and, therefore, prevented two deaths. Although liberties are vital to the United States, innocent lives are being risked every day by allowing legal guns to fall into the hands of the mentally ill. While infringing on basic liberties, gun control can save lives, which clearly justifies the loss of liberty in order to maintain safety. The deaths of over 13,286 people in just 2015 alone introduced the idea of gun control. While it is important to prevent the deaths of this many people, it is more important to protect the founding freedoms of United States. Taking away the second amendment right from the people can only lead to an abuse of power. This would undoubtedly result in the the creation of a country no longer recognizable by its citizens.  Ben Franklin expressed his views in 1759, and they still hold true today. Liberties are often taken for granted and traded for temporary security. Given the consequences, it is evident that liberties should be protected at all costs and chosen over temporary safety.  
Citations

Bradner, Eric, and Gregory Krieg. "Obama Executive Action: New Gun Control Orders - CNNPolitics.com." CNN. Cable News Network, 5 Jan. 2016. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
The Associated Press. "Lafayette Movie Theater Shooter John Houser's Mental Problems Didn't Stop Gun Buy." NBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Othello Act Five S/R Redo

Othello Act V Summary Response
Summary:
  • In Act Five of Othello, William Shakespeare proves jealousy can rule over a character's life. Iago decides to take revenge upon Othello because Iago is in love with Othello and knows his love will never be returned in the same way. This revenge is represented in his continual sabotage of Othello’s marriage, to the concept that his loyalties lie with Othello, not his own wife, Emilia. In Act Five, Iago turns on his wife to protect his reputation in Othello’s eyes and therefore demonstrates there is no conceivable way Iago can be in love with Emilia, who he can sacrifice without blinking an eye. In Othello, Shakespeare leads his readers to believe Iago is out for revenge because of a denied promotion, while his motives are much deeper and possibly not known to the character himself.
Response:
  • Othello, by William Shakespeare, accurately portrays how a character can have underlying motives for their actions because of Iago’s hatred for Othello is powered by his unrequited love for Othello. Claim 1:
    • Iago’s hatred of Othello seems to have begun when Othello denied him the position of lieutenant, when in fact that rejection only fanned fire. Iago was then consumed by his need for revenge, causing him to devise a plan for Othello’s demise. This plan was almost completed when Othello fell prey to Iago’s deceptions and killed his wife, Desdemona. All of Iago’s hard work was ruined when his wife, Emilia, revealed Iago’s lies. Up until that point, Othello had believed Iago was faithful to him, not trying to ruin his life, nor make him question his sanity. Emilia tried to defend Desdemona’s honor by revealing Desdemona never cheated on Othello, but this only resulted in anger from Othello and Iago both.
    • In his fury, Iago exclaimed “Villainous whore… Filth, thou liest!” (Shakespeare 5.2.273,276).
    • Iago’s misogynistic words and actions are repeated throughout the entire play. Iago treats Emilia like a tool, he only kept around as long as she is useful. Additionally, Iago speaks directly to his wife, someone who he has vowed to love and cherish, which only reveals the extent of his misogyny. The misogyny only further proves Iago’s homosexuality. Iago hated women because they were the only ones standing in the way of his happiness with Othello. Iago seems to take great pleasure in the unhappiness present in Othello’s marriage and strives to make it permanent. Throughout the play, Iago has done nothing but sabotage Othello and Desdemona’s relationship. He may not be aware of his subconscious desires, but he makes it undeniably sure Othello is not able to achieve happiness in his romantic endeavors, because Iago cannot in his. Thus proving Iago’s homosexuality.   
  • Counterclaim 1:
    • On the other hand, Iago had a wife, contradicting the possibility he is homosexual.
    • After Othello kills Desdemona, Emilia tries to persuade Othello that Desdemona never cheated on him. When Othello informed her Iago was the one who first suspected Desdemona of cheating, Emilia was astounded Iago never told her about his suspicions. This news was new to Emilia, causing her to question everything she has come to know about Emilia and Iago both.
    • Evidence: In disbelief she asked,  “ My husband?” (Shakespeare 5.2.171).
    • Although Iago being homosexual would explain his behavior towards Desdemona, it is impossible for him to be gay. Iago is married to Emilia, who he vows to love and be devoted to for the rest of their lives. While they may not have the happiest of marriages, Iago has put his full trust in her. During Act Three, Iago trusts Emilia to retrieve Desdemona’s handkerchief and she reciprocates the trust by not disclosing that she gave the handkerchief to Iago when Desdemona realizes that it is missing. This kind of unconditional trust can only stem from romantic love between Emilia and Iago. Therefore, Iago cannot be homosexual.

Rebuttal

  • A common view is that Iago could not be homosexual, as he has a wife. This is a reasonable assumption because Iago and Emilia seem to have a mutual trust for each other, but their marriage is clearly an unhappy one. While Iago trusts Emilia, he treats her like dirt and never once tell her that he loves her. Although Iago never verbalized his love for Emilia, he made absolutely certain the Othello knew of Iago’s love for him. “My lord, you know I love you.” (Shakespeare 3.3.123). In Act Three, Iago profusely professes his love for Othello and expertly masks it as loyalty, not romantic love. Consequently, Iago is undeniably homosexual. Othello by William Shakespeare portrays how a character can have deep, unspoken feelings that rule over their lives.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Othello Act V S/R

Othello Act V Summary Response
Summary:
  • In Act Five of Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago raises more questions about his true motives for plotting Othello’s downfall. Iago has succeeded in deceiving Othello to the point where Othello is burning for revenge. While Othello plotted the deaths of Cassio and Desdemona, Iago had strong desire to kill Cassio and after begging for permission, Othello granted him the honor. Iago passed the duty to Roderigo by manipulating him into thinking the murder would help him in his quest to win Desdemona. While attempting to carry out this task, Roderigo is killed and Cassio is only injured. Othello took inspiration from Iago’s audacity and concluded that he must kill Desdemona immediately. Othello completed the murder quickly, however the action ended up revealing the truth of Iago’s deception. Shakespeare made Iago from Othello a very complex character who could have had several motives for revenge upon Othello, only some of which he verbalized.  

Response:
  • Othello, by Shakespeare, accurately portrays how a character can have underlying motives for their actions. Iago’s deep hatred of Othello was rooted in his unrequited romantic love for Othello.
  • Claim 1:
    • Iago’s hatred of Othello seems to have begun when Othello denied him the position of lieutenant, instead that rejection fanned the already burning fire. Iago was then consumed by his need for revenge, causing him to devise a plan for Othello’s demise. This plan was almost completed when Othello fell prey to Iago’s deceptions and killed his wife, Desdemona. All of Iago’s hard work was ruined when his wife, Emilia, revealed Iago’s lies. Up until that point, Othello had believed that Iago was faithful to him, not trying to ruin his life, nor making him question his sanity. Emilia tried to defend Desdemona’s honor by revealing Iago’s fabrications, but this only resulted in anger from Othello and Iago both.
    • In his fury, Iago exclaimed “Villainous whore… Filth, thou liest!” (Shakespeare 5.2 273,276)
    • Iago’s misogynistic words and actions are repeated throughout the entire play. Iago not only treats Emilia like a tool, he only kept around as long as she is useful. He is also very disrespectful towards Desdemona. The misogyny only further proves Iago’s homosexuality. Iago hated women because they were the only ones standing in the way of his happiness, with Othello. Iago seems to take great pleasure in the unhappiness present in Othello’s marriage and strives to make it permanent. The very first step of Iago’s vengeful plan was to inform Desdemona's father of her affair and elopement with Othello. Iago has done nothing but sabotage their relationship. He may not be aware of his subconscious desires, but he makes it undeniably sure that Othello is not able to achieve happiness in his romantic endeavors, because Iago cannot in his. Thus proving Iago’s homosexuality.   
  • Counterclaim 1:
    • On the other hand, Iago had a wife, contradicting the possibility that he is homosexual.
    • After Othello has killed Desdemona, Emilia tried to persuade Othello that Desdemona never cheated on him. When Othello informed her that Iago was the one who first suspected Desdemona of cheating, Emilia was astounded that Iago never told her about his suspicions. This news sparked suspicions of Iago in Emilia’s mind.
    • Evidence: In disbelief she exclaimed,  “ My husband?” (Shakespeare 5.2 171)
    • A possible motive for Iago’s revenge on Othello is Iago’s romantic interest in Othello, however Iago has a wife. Thus, Iago cannot be homosexual because he has a partner of the opposite sex, countering the very definition of homosexual.

Rebuttal
  • A common view is that Iago vowed to take revenge upon Othello because he demoted Iago, another viewpoint is that Iago is in love with Othello and therefore wants to destroy his happiness. Revenge because of betrayal is a plausible reason for Iago’s actions, but upon analysis of his behavior towards Othello, it is also reasonable to say that Iago is in love with Othello. William Shakespeare's Othello accurately portrays the level of unconscious sexual impulses that can affect a character's behavior and sanity.  


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Othello Act II S/R

Othello Act II Summary Response
Summary:
  • William Shakespeare’s Othello demonstrates the power of nature in a story and how strong it can be.
  • In act II, a storm wrecks the Turkish fleet that was heading to attack Cyprus. With Othello still at sea, many characters become worried about his safety. Upon his safe return, his friends rejoice, but trouble later ensues.
  • This unexpected storm results the character’s learning of how strong nature can be.
Response:
  • Topic sentence: William Shakespeare’s Othello accurately illustrates that the events of nature are reflections of the external storm between the characters, foreshadowing the tempest that will occur later in the act.
  • Claim 1: In Othello, Shakespeare conjures a storm when conflict occurs between the characters.
  • Set-up: While Othello fights a storm at sea, Iago starts a storm among the characters.
    • Evidence: Lead-in While waiting for news on Othello’s condition, Iago fuels the tension between the characters by giving Desdemona the backhanded compliment, “If she be black, and thereto have a wit, She’ll find a white that shall her blackness fit” (Shakespeare 2.1 134 ).
    • Iago makes a pun using “white” and “wit.” Black and white can mean brunettes and blondes, respectively. He uses “brunette” to mean ugly, and “blonde” to mean beautiful.  He says that even ugly women can attract men, as long as they are smart. In this, he is giving Desdemona a backhanded compliment. He uses small insults to stir up malcontentedness among the characters. Therefore, Othello’s storm at sea is matched by Iago’s storm among people.
  • Counterclaim 1: However,
    • In William Shakespeare's Othello, there seems to be a reflection between the plot and nature; however, there are several parts of the story that are not affected by or congruent with the course of nature.
    • Evidence: While Montano was speaking with a gentleman, another gentleman comes to tell them the great news, “News lads! our wars are done. The desperate tempest that so bang’d the Turks.” (Shakespeare 2.1 20-21)
    • The storm brings good mood to the characters at this point. Had Shakespeare truly wanted to reflect the lives of his characters in nature, he would have made his characters feel indignant for the entire duration of the whole storm.
    • The natural disasters that could be seen as the foreshadowing of fallouts between the characters in the future cannot be related to all of the major events in the Othello. Hence, there is no way to establish an accurate relationship between the natural world and the actions taken by characters’ in Shakespeare’s Othello.


Rebuttal:
  • William Shakespeare’s Othello demonstrates how the natural world plays a strong role in the outcome of people's lives.  
  • While there is a war in progress throughout the course of the story, the effect of nature is directly related to the domestic and personal drama between Othello, Iago, and their supporting characters. While the Turkish fleet is destroyed because of a storm at sea, there is turmoil at home. The disaster at sea is congruent with the storm of drama that Iago is creating to get revenge on Othello. At first glance it seems as though it is not plausible for the natural world to affect the personal lives of only a few people, however it is proven throughout Act II that it is entirely conceivable. This position seems reasonable because something that happens thousands of miles away should not be consistent with the actions and outcomes of random people. Upon further analysis, the natural world does have a major effect on the lives of Shakespeare’s characters because without the storm, Iago would have not have had the opportunity to destroy both Cassio’s and Othello’s happiness at the same time.



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Othello Act I S/R Porter, Kolpak

Othello Summary Response Outline


Summary:
  • Topic sentence: Act I of William Shakespeare’s Othello shows how women were treated like weak, innocent creatures that were, in a way, the property of men.
  • Brabantio, a senator of Venice and Desdemona’s father, is enraged when Othello, a black war leader, marries his daughter. He sees this as “stealing” her, and tracks down Othello. They go to trial much like one would about stolen property. The ownership of women is transferred from father to husband upon marriage, and it’s perceived that their worth is entirely dependent on their ability to marry well and reproduce.
  • Women are seen as property in the ways that they can be bought, stolen, or won.   


Response:
  • Topic sentence: Act I of William Shakespeare’s Othello accurately portrays how women were treated as property in a male-dominated world because they were seen as too weak to function on their own.
  • Claim 1:
    • Women were considered by many characters to be weak and unassuming. They were thought to have no strength of their own, and had to be taken care of by men. Women were treated as the property of men. They were also seen as innocent creatures, who were unable to make rational decisions by themselves concerning their own life or the life of others.
    • Evidence: When Iago comes to tell Brabantio that Desdemona had eloped with Othello, he states, “Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags!” (Shakespeare  1.1 86).
    • Iago considers women to be property, and groups her with other household items that can be stolen.
    • Women were treated as property and considered by most men to be weak and incapable.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, ....
    • Although women are seen as property throughout the play, Othello may be ahead of his time in terms of his view of women.
    • Evidence: Othello states, “I love the gentle Desdemona” (Shakespeare 1.1 25).
    • While others think women to have no function other than marriage and childbearing, Othello sees the positive actions she performs for herself and others, calling her gentle. He uses an adjective that could only be used to describe a person, not an inanimate object. Although Othello sees Desdemona as a person, her worth is meaningless to the rest of the community.
    • Othello was able to fall in love with Desdemona, not just because she was a woman, but because of her personality. Showing that Othello had a modern view regarding women, seeing them as people not property.   


Rebuttal:
A common view is that Othello sees Desdemona as a human being, instead of property, as he calls her “gentle.” This seems like a compliment to her loving nature.
Upon further analysis of how Othello treats Desdemona, he may be no different than the men who view women as weak. In describing her as “gentle,” he portrays Desdemona as weak. Othello may acknowledge that Desdemona is a person, but he would have used a different adjective to describe her if he felt that she was a strong, competent woman, capable of making decisions for herself.  


Bully S/R (redo2) Porter, Kolpak

Lee Hirsch’s Bully Summary Response

Summary:
  • Topic sentence:The documentary Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch, confronts the bullying some American students face at school.
  • Hirsch shows that all over the United States, children are terrified to come to school because they fear for their safety. This documentary brings to light how children are being bullied by their peers and the adults, who are supposed to protect them, just stand by and watch it happen. Bullying causes mental injury, physical injury, and death.
  • Concluding sentence: In conclusion, Hirsch shows how bullying is a nationwide epidemic and children have died due to schools’ ignorance.

Response:
  • Topic sentence: The documentary Bully, directed by Lee Hirsch correctly illustrates the immense problems that arise when schools and officials refuse to admit that their systems are faulty and change their bullying policies, because this ignorance is costing children their lives and spirits.
  • Claim 1:
    • Set-up: Many school systems are set up in such a way that bullying is not something that is monitored and instead it is the victim’s responsibility to talk to the officials, who often do not do anything. This shames victims in to vulnerable states into believing it’s their fault they are being hurt.
    • Lead in: Alex Libby, a twelve-year-old boy who being bullied, feels that it was his fault the bullying continued because he didn’t alert adults. He recalls,
    • Quote:  “I didn’t tell them what was going on, which was my mistake” (Hirsch).
    • Explanation: Children are very impressionable, and making it their responsibility to set aside their learning to talk to an official who may or may not believe them when they are in their worst states is just setting kids up for failure. Many kids have disabilities that make it near impossible for them to stand up for themselves or talk to faculty.
    • Conclusion: While it’s important that kids learn to be a self-advocate, the stakes should never be set as high as mental/physical injury, or even death.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, ....
    • Set Up: However, while most of the blame for bullying falls on the school system, there is only so much that the teachers can do to protect their students. Students and parents are always very fast to place blame on the school system, when in fact, there is a limit to what the teachers can prevent. Ultimately, kids will be mean, and they will say and do hurtful things.
    • Lead In: An assistant principal in the Murray County School District discussed the practicality of assigning responsibility for the kids onto the schools. She stated,
    • Quote: “We can’t stop kids from saying bad things and we can’t watch what kids do every minute”  (Hirsch).
    • Explanation: The school system cannot be blamed for all bullying because, even though parents hope that teachers know what their child is doing while they are at school, there is no possible way for the teachers to monitor every child, every second of the day.
Rebuttal:
  • At first glance, it seems as though the teachers may not be responsible for everything that happens while children are at school, but upon further analysis of of each situation, the ultimate responsibility falls on the teachers.  
  • It cannot be denied that schools can not keep tabs on everything every student says every second of the day.
  • While this view seems reasonable at first glance, a closer look at the responsibilities of schools must be taken. It is the law to go to school. When a parent sends a child to school, they are entrusting the teachers and officials with the safety and well-being of their child. It is unacceptable for these places that shape the rest of a child’s life to knowingly foster hateful speech and painful actions. When a child is beaten up at school or commits suicide because of bullying, the school has broken the trust of the parents and has failed the child.
  • Bullying is a serious fault, and cannot be treated with ignorance any longer, as this fault is killing children.

Concluding Sentence:
  • In conclusion, there is no logical way for a teacher to be aware of every instance of bullying that happens at their school.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Bully S/R (Redo)

Lee Hirsch’s “Bully” Summary Response


Summary:
  • Topic sentence:The documentary “Bully”, directed by Lee Hirsch, confronts the true horror some American students face being mercilessly bullied by their peers at school.
  • Hirsch shows that all over the United States, children are terrified to come to school because they fear for their safety. This documentary brings to light how children are being ruthlessly bullied by their peers as the adults, who are supposed to protect them, just stand by and watch it happen. Bullying causes mental injury, physical injury, and death.
  • Concluding sentence: In conclusion, Hirsch shows how bullying is a nationwide epidemic and children have died due to schools’ ignorance.


Response:
  • Topic sentence: The documentary “Bully”, directed by Lee Hirsch correctly illustrates,the immense problems that arise when schools and officials refuse to admit that their systems are faulty and change their bullying policies. Hirsch shows that these faults are actively costing children their lives because schools let these children
  • Claim 1:
    • Set-up: Many school systems are set up in such a way that bullying is not something that is monitored and instead it is the victim’s responsibility to talk to the officials, who often do nothing anyways. This shames victims in vulnerable states into believing it’s their fault they’re being hurt.
    • Lead in: Alex Libby, a twelve-year-old boy being bullied, feels that it was his fault the bullying continued because he didn’t alert adults. He recalls,
    • Quote:  “I didn’t tell them what was going on, which was my mistake.” (Hirsch)
    • Explanation: Children are very impressionable, and making it their responsibility to set aside their learning to talk to an official who may or may not believe them when they are in their worst states is just setting kids up for failure. Many kids have disabilities that make it near impossible for them to stand up for themselves or talk to faculty.
    • Conclusion: While it’s important that kids learn to be a self-advocate, the stakes should never be set as high as mental/physical injury, or even death.
  • Counterclaim 1: However, ....
    • Set Up: However, while most of the blame for bullying falls on the school system, there is only so much that the teachers can do to protect their students. Students and parents are always very fast to place blame on the school system, when in fact, there is a limit to what the teachers can prevent. Ultimately, kids will be mean, and kids will say and do hurtful things.
    • Lead In: An assistant principal in the Murray County School District discussed the practicality of assigning responsibility for the kids onto the schools. She stated,
    • Quote: “We can’t stop kids from saying bad things and we can’t watch what kids do every minute”.  (Hirsch)
    • Explanation: The school system cannot be blamed for all bullying because, even though parents hope that teachers know what their child is doing while they are at school, there is no possible way for the teachers to monitor every child, every second of the day.
    • Concluding Sentence: In conclusion, there is no logical way for a teacher to be aware of every instance of bullying that happens at their school.

Rebuttal:
  • At first glance, it seems as though the teachers may not be responsible for everything that happens while children are at school, but upon further analysis of of each situation, the ultimate responsibility falls on the teachers.  
  • It cannot be denied that schools can’t keep tabs on everything every student says every second of the day.
  • While this view seems reasonable at first glance, a closer look at the responsibilities of schools must be taken. It is the law to go to school. When a parent sends a child to school, they are entrusting the teachers and officials with the safety and well-being of their child. It is unacceptable for these places that shape the rest of a child’s life to knowingly foster hateful speech and painful actions. When a child is beat up at school or commits suicide because of bullying, the school has broken the trust to the parents and has failed the child.
  • In conclusion, bullying is a serious fault, and cannot be treated with ignorance any longer, as this fault is killing children.